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“My Exit Has Caused Earthquake In BJP”: SP Maurya On Quitting UP Cabinet

Swami Prasad Maurya, whose resign from Yogi Adityanath’s cabinet triggered a flurry of BJP exits just before elections, said that he would unveil his next move on Friday and that he “hasn’t quit the BJP or joined the Samajwadi Party” yet.

Still aiming for the BJP, he made a series of confusing statements about joining Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party.

“My move has caused a bhuchaal (earthquake) in the BJP,” he boasted in an interview, adding that more ministers and MLAs would follow him out of the party.

Along with Mr. Maurya, four MLAs have already announced their resignations: Roshan Lal Verma, Brijesh Prajapati, Bhagwati Sagar, and Vinay Shakya.

Mr. Maurya tried to be cautious about his future steps.

Maurya Statement

At the same time, Mr. Maurya was quoted by ANI as saying: “On January 14, I will join the Samajwadi Party. I have not received calls from any small or big politicians.”

On Tuesday, just after Mr. Maurya’s resignation letter was posted on Twitter, Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav tweeted a photo with him, welcoming him and his supporters to his party.

“Akhilesh Yadav congratulated me,” he agreed.

“I will speak to my people today and tomorrow. I will reveal my next political move on 14th (Friday). I will also tell you my decision and who will come with me,” he said.

The BJP leadership, stunned by the exodus of strategically important OBC (Other Backward Class) leaders, has tasked Yogi Adityanath’s deputy Keshav Prasad Maurya with persuading the rebels to reconsider.

Mr. Maurya, 68, was one of the BJP’s most prominent backward leaders, and he was key in the party’s plan of attracting non-Yadav OBC voters in the UP election as a counter to Akhilesh Yadav.

“Keshav Maurya is my brother. But for the past five years he has also been helpless,” Mr. Maurya scoffed, implying that they both shared a rocky relationship with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Mr. Maurya reportedly met with Union Home Minister Amit Shah two months ago to express his displeasure with Yogi Adityanath’s working style. However, the party did not take any action, and a three-member Delhi team sent to UP failed to address the resentment in the ranks.

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